Eugene DSA extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Charlie Landeros, who was gunned down by Eugene Police in front of their daughter at the doors of Cascade Middle School Friday morning. Charlie’s community organizing and commitment to justice touched many lives in the Eugene area, and their absence will be sorely felt across our community.
As the story broke, eventually becoming international news, misinformation spread quickly. Initially, it was reported as a school shooting with the victim identified as “the shooter”, but later we learned that only police fired any shots. Television news offered wall-to-wall coverage, but simply parroted police reports, and misled the public about the nature of the incident.
The details of Charlie’s killing are still unclear. Why were police called to the school? Why did they choose to use lethal force? We demand transparency as the investigation into Charlie’s killing unfolds. Any and all footage of the incident must be released to the public. Numerous documented cover-ups across the country show that police cannot be trusted to investigate a shooting by their own officers. The city must support an independent investigation into the shooting.
In the United States, police kill over one thousand people each year. Despite making up only 38% of the population, people of color make up 52% of those killed by police. A much lower rate of police killings elsewhere in the world and the successful apprehension of even the most violent show that these deaths at the hands of police are avoidable. Now this ongoing national tragedy has visited us here in Eugene. From our grief and rage over this tragic and unjust killing, our community must, together, build a movement to stop this barbarity.
We demand accountability for the officers that killed Charlie and accountability for any and all police or municipal leaders who put into place policies that allowed this tragedy. We demand an end to the violence visited on our community by the police.
To support an independent investigation into Charlie’s killing, please donate to the Civil Liberties Defense Center, an organization Charlie was deeply involved with, making sure to add the note “in memory of Charlie Landeros”.